Pocket Door Framing

Rough Opening

Can be tricky

I had posted this blog on a DIY web site and got a lot of views. Odd to me, but “Oh well”. A lot of folks want to know how to frame a rough opening for a pocket door. Here ya go! Pocket doors come in regular sizes, but what even framers forget is the head height. A pocket door has a track in the frame at the top of the unit. Therefore it is imperative the correct header height be framed. Don’t make the mistake of installing a 4X12 header in a standard 8 foot wall. Or you will either have to saw out 2 inches or remove and replace. The correct header for standard studs (92 1/4″) is a 4X10. This allows the pocket door frame to set nicely into the frame. Now the other stuff. What size door is to be installed? Let’s go standard passage. 2/6? Good enough. So, you have a 30″ door. The ‘pocket’ must be added to the measurement. 30″ doubled = 60″. Now you need to add 5 inches for trimmers, jambs and shim room; equaling 65 inches. (Do the details call for double trimmers? add another 3″) So, what is this 65″? Ans. The header, silly! One more thing. Some places you need to make room for the entire wall length. In our example, the entire wall length would be 68″ total. The other 3 inches is the addition of the king studs. Sometimes you need to be creative due to room. Maybe beam pocketing into an adjacent wall on the pocket side. Or installing an A-35 in lieu of a trimmer. Or using 1X trimmers instead of 2X. Another thing. Don’t use a 3″ bottom plate. Instead, add the 1 1/2 ” to the bottom of the trimmer. Ahh, the tricks of the trade. Example; a standard trimmer is +/- 82 5/8″. Add the bottom plate. 1 1/2″ = 84 1/4″ . Another BIGGIE: Use the correct length nails or screws in the sheet rock when screwing or nailing into the horizontal slats in the pocket door frame. ( And also the finish door trim) Many a nasty gouge came when the fastener encroached into the ‘pocket’ and scratched the door the first time it was pushed in. Don’t get overwhelmed at this type of project. It’s why we have a comment box. Click on the grey box next to the Title.


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